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Two events in Surrey to honour 215 Indigenous children found at former residential school

One event is at 1 p.m., with a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m.
(File photo: James Smith)

Editor’s note: This article contains details about experiences at residential schools in B.C. and may be triggering to readers.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is offering toll-free 24-hour telephone support for survivors and their families at 1 (866) 925-4419. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society’s 24-hour line is available at 1-800-588-8717.


Two separate events at Surrey City Hall on Friday are meant honour the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at a former residential school site in Kamloops.

First is an event planned by the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee’s Skookum Lab at 1 p.m. on Friday (June 4). It will be at the staircase connected to city hall at civic plaza.

People are asked to bring their drums and a pair of children’s shoes and encouraged to wear their regalia or orange shirts.

Then a candlelight vigil is planned for Surrey City Hall at 7 p.m., hosted by the organizers of the BASMODI Team, which organized rallies and events in support of the Indian farmers’ protest, has planned the vigil to start at 7 p.m. at city hall.

“We stand in solidarity with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nations and all other Indigenous communities,” reads a poster for the event.

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said the remains of the children, some believed to be as young as three, were confirmed with the help of ground-penetrating radar.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School was Canada’s largest such facility operated by the Roman Catholic Church between 1890 and 1969 before the federal government took it over as a day school until 1978, when it was closed.

READ ALSO: Survivor of B.C. residential school breaking silence and calling for action, June 2, 2021

READ ALSO: Canada holds special debate on remains of 215 children found at residential school, June 2, 2021

READ ALSO: U.N. seeks full probe into death of Indigenous students at residential schools, June 2, 2021

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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